The EFL Forum and Referees.

English Football League Forum

On Monday 27th March NCFCOSA represented the fan’s at an EFL Forum at Sheffield United.

Former referee and PGMOL Head of Community and Engagement Chris Foy was joined on stage by Sky Sports pundit Peter Beagrie and their Senior Planning Producer for the EFL, Sean Boyle. 
Foy spoke first, providing supporters with a light-hearted but informative look at the role of the match officials, highlighting some of the difficulties they face on a match-by-match basis. Foy’s interactive presentation let supporters get to the heart of refereeing and ask important questions about match officials’ decisions. 

John Terrington asked if referees are answerable to the association if there refereeing is not up to standard, Foy said every match they have an assessor watching them and both football clubs send a report in and if they are not up to standard they have to retrain. After listening to Foy for around thirty minutes telling us all about the 86 rule changes, it made us realised what hard job it is being a referee when they have to make a split second decision at the time.

Supporters then heard from Sky’s Senior Producer Boyle, who outlined how the EFL’s broadcast partner is working to bring fans closer to the game, incorporating new innovative ideas into their coverage to enhance the experience of football fans nationwide. Sky did not really offer anything to excite the fan’s it was mainly an advert for Sky and was disappointing.

The evening concluded with an open Q&A between supporters and the panellists.

Question) from NCFCOSA, Can the EFL change the computer so our fans are not travelling long distances midweek costing football clubs and fans a small fortune and a loss of revenue to the clubs.

Answer) It would become messy moving the teams round and end up like a merry go round.

Question)NCFCOSA asked why do we get matches in the Checkatrade up in Sunderland when we could be playing Mansfield or Chesterfield?

Answer) He could not really answer and was vague.

Question)NCFCOSA asked, Regarding this meeting, will all the questions and answers be minuted and the outcome be made available to all clubs so that SLO’s can report back to their own clubs and fans.

Answer) There is no need to minute the questions as we get asked the same questions at each meeting.

Question) NCFCOSA asked the EFL how the financial distribution of money applied to clubs in the lower leagues.

Answer) In terms of overall financial distribution, there are no ladder payments linked to final league positions, instead all EFL clubs receive an equal share of what is called their ‘basic awards’ which encompass broadcasting revenue, below is how finances are distributed, (Basic award per club) Championship clubs £2.084 m League 1 £677k League 2 £472k, in addition, the EFL and the Premier league have a separate agreement with regards to solidarity payments, currently all clubs in the EFL therefore also receive a share of the solidarity money. Solidarity payments per club, Championship £4.3m, league 1 £645k, league 2 £430k. Clubs also receive money from live TV broadcasts on a match by match basis as follows, Championship home clubs for league games £100k rising to £120k and £140k if the TV game is on a Sunday or Thursday respectively, the away sides receive £10k, league 1 and 2 sides who play at home receive £30k and away sides receive £10k.

Regarding the Checkertrade Trophy

The opinions of some delegates was that the EFL are putting a brave face on things, they know that it as been a disaster and that some serious thought needs to be given to how it is run in the future. By and large, clubs not the fans are in favour of having the competition so they think it is here to stay for the immediate future, but it will have to be run differently next year. Things need to be sorted quickly as the sponsors are not happy with the criticism that is being associated with their brand.

All in all the night was an enjoyable evening for fans to meet each other and discuss their mutual feelings with each other about issues they have with the EFL in general, it was felt that the input from Sky was just an advertising evening and the EFL did not give a direct answer to anything, Chris Foy’s input was the best part of the evening and he made things a little clearer for us regarding the standard of refereeing.

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